Anti-slavery abolitionist Harriet Tubman’s image will replace that of President Andrew Jackson, a slaveholder, on a new series of $20 bills. She will become the first African-American to appear on U.S. paper currency and the first woman in more than a century.
Treasury Secretary Jacob made the announcement on Wednesday, saying in a letter to the American people, “With this decision, our currency will now tell more of our story and reflect the contributions of women as well as men to our great democracy.”
In the statement, the Treasury also announced that the new $20 note will keep an image of Jackson, who was a slaveholder, on the back. NPR’s All Things Considered noted that “Tubman’s appearance on the $20 bill would have a special historical resonance: That’s the same amount she eventually received from the U.S. government as her monthly pension for her service as a nurse, scout, cook and spy during the Civil War, as well as for her status as the widow of a veteran.”
The Treasury did not say when the new bills will enter into circulation but said the final concept designs of the new $20 as well as the $10 and $5 notes will be unveiled in 2020.